07 November 2013

Bully Culture

While The Angry Who Dat's website is down for maintenance, I'm honored to host his weekly post right here: 

I didn’t get a chance to write last week, because of the road trip to New York, and I haven’t yet written this week, and now my site is infected with some sort of malware, so thanks to Reid for letting me borrow a bit of space over here.

Suffice to say, Bills game good, Jets game bad. Offensive line, ugly. That’ll have to do for now, because I really need to get this off my chest.

Richie Incognito is an asshole.

I mean, goddamn. This dude is certifiable. In case you haven’t been paying attention, these are the absolute, uncontested facts of the situation:

1. Richie Incognito is a bully who forced teammates to pay for extravagant meals and jetskis, threatened their mothers, defecated down their throats, and left alone at lunch tables at such a frequency as to make one of them leave football completely.

2. Richie Incognito hates black people.

3. The Dolphins organization told Richie Incognito to do these things, explicitly lining out a plan to break Jonathan Martin mentally and emotionally.

I propose these penalties:

1. The entire Dolphins front office should be suspended from football operations for one year, reviewable in perpetuity.

2. Joe Philbin should receive show-cause for 18 months or until Richie Incognito is released from prison, whichever comes last.

3. Richie Incognito should receive a lifetime ban from football.

The things that have happened in Miami over the last 2 years serve as a poor example to our children and should never be allowed in football.

Some say we should take a nuanced approach; I reject that position. Peter King prizes his journalistic integrity and refuses to jump to conclusions, and I commend him for his professionalism. But the evidence is clear: Richie Incognito sent several voicemails and texts that were threatening in nature, and someone heard them. They reported on them, and we as a football-loving public have no need to question the nature of the calls, as it has already been questioned and confirmed as malicious by media sources.

I mean, he said bad words and made threats. There’s no such thing as bluster in the locker room – all things are taken at face value. When a guy says he’s going to slap your mother, or shit down your throat, or destroy your outside ACL, you don’t have time to determine whether that act is physically possible or if that’s an actual body part that humans have. You take the threat seriously, and you punish.

Obviously, people intending serious threats say things like “I’ll shit down your throat.” That doesn’t sound absurd at all, and would terrify me to the bone if I heard it on my voicemail. Nobody wants to eat another man’s shit. And no white person, NOT ONE, has ever been too stupid to understand the seriousness of the N-bomb and felt entitled to use it in a moronic way, unless they actually did hate black people. That’s just basic common sense, and you don’t get to the NFL and succeed In This League without common sense.

The organization is complicit in all of it, according to an unnamed source quoted by precisely one media outlet in Miami, and confirmed by no others, and that’s good enough for me. The media doesn’t get this kind of shit wrong, people.

Worse than the crime, as always, is the cover-up. In the face of conclusive, damning evidence to the contrary, the Miami Dolphins have denied any wrongdoing. The players in the locker room, without exception, claim that Richie Incognito is a good teammate. Someone clearly spent a great deal of time lining up ducks. This defiance, this bald-faced refusal to admit to a wrong that has been made so clear by partial transcriptions of voicemails and a singular anonymous source, is galling in nature and shocking in scope, and should not go unpunished.

History will see the Miami Dolphins for what they are: a pack of bullies who no longer deserve to grace a football field that bears The Shield; that monetary concerns will not allow for the simple removal of the entire franchise is saddening, but it is the way of this world. However, morality need not completely succumb to the drives of capitalism.

It’s important that the league take an immediate, harsh and decisive course of action to quell what has quietly but clearly become a problem endemic in the NFL. An example must be made of the Miami Dolphins. In a just world, the entire organization would be brought down.

And they’d have only themselves to blame.

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